At Oceanic Steel, we work with clients from different industries, most of which already have a keen understanding of the need for workplace health and safety regulations. Even with our existing systems and processes, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a new set of challenges that require new methods of risk management if we aim to continue at work in a safe manner. Maintaining a healthy workplace in spite of the coronavirus comes down to these four major undertakings:

Assessing risks
As much as is practical, you and your team need to collect the necessary data and analyse it to ascertain how probable the risk of exposure to the virus is in your day to day operations. If measures are already in place, their efficacy should be ensured and if additional measures are needed, determine how urgently change should take place. Some members of staff may be at a higher risk than others and require additional protective gear. If the situation merits additional expertise, do not hesitate to bring in a specialist.

Physical or social distancing
One of the most effective methods of limiting exposure to the coronavirus is by keeping people further from each other, a process known as physical/social distancing. Spacing workers at least 1.5 metres apart (on all sides) reduces the risk that droplets released from an infected person will end up infecting someone else. Succeeding at this may require some changes such as rearranging of workspaces, staggering of meal times and rostered use of shared facilities. Careful consultations with your team and their health and safety representatives (HSRs) may ensure that everyone understands the new arrangements and is onboard. 

Maintaining hygiene
Frequent, thorough hand washing and/or hand sanitization are absolutely critical elements of workplace hygiene during this pandemic. Hands should be washed with soap and rinsed with water for 20 seconds or more and dried completely. Other rules of hygiene include coughing/sneezing into the crook of the elbow, touching the face as little as possible and thoroughly cleaning all clothing after use. For full efficacy, these rules should be followed by workers and visitors alike. 

Cleaning and disinfecting
All surfaces that you and your team come into contact with at your workplace will require frequent cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning is the process of removing dirt and grime while disinfection involves the use of a substance like alcohol or bleach at the correct concentration to kill germs. The entire workplace should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily but door handles, desks, phones, equipment and other surfaces that are touched often will require special attention.

Your company will have more specific regulations to be mindful of depending on your industry and the state in which you operate. For more details on how you can keep your workplace safe, visit